Since the UK left the EU, gaining Spanish residency has become increasingly difficult for British citizens. But if you are a Briton, or another non-EU national, who has been living in Spain continuously and legally for five years, then you are eligible to apply for a long-term residency card that will secure your position in the country.
Temporary residents of Spain who are staying in the country using a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero or TIE, residency card can exchange this card for a Tarjeta de Larga Duración, which is a long-term residency card.
There are many benefits of exchanging your temporary residency card for a permanent residency card. Not only will it help to make your position in Spain feel more secure, it also means that you won’t have to meet the same rigorous renewal requirements as with a temporary residency permit, nor will you be asked to renew your permit so regularly. Non-EU nationals who have a long-term residency permit also enjoy better residency conditions in Spain. This means you will have the right to work under the same conditions as any Spanish national. This is incredibly appealing to some ex-pats who, up until this point, have been unable to work in the country.
So how do you gain a long-term residency card in Spain? Here’s everything you need to know:
How Do You Get a Long-Term Residency Card?
If you already have a short-term residency card, and have held this card for at least five years, then the good news is that exchanging this for a long-term residency card is relatively straightforward. Like everything administrative in Spain though, the process can be time consuming. For this reason, you should begin the process at least two months before your existing residency card expires, so that you don’t risk being in the country undocumented.
To submit your residency application you'll need to complete the EX-11 application form (solicitud de autorización de residencia de larga duración).
Who Can Complete The EX-11 Form?
To be eligible to complete the EX-11 Form and obtain long-term residency in Spain you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have been a continuous legal resident of Spain for 5 years.
- Have been resident in Spain for 2 years preceding application, following 3 of more years as a resident in another EU country.
- Be a Spanish resident who is a beneficiary of a contributory retirement pension.
- Be a Spanish resident who is a beneficiary of permanent incapacity benefit or who has a severe disability.
- People who were residents in the 3 years immediately preceding the application, over 18 years of age, and born in Spain.
- A Spaniard who lost their Spanish nationality.
- A Spanish resident under the guardianship of a public entity for 5 consecutive years, immediately preceding reaching legal age.
- Stateless people or refugees with recognised status.
- Holders of an EU long-term residence permit in another EU country.
- A family member of a holder of an EU long-term residence permit in another EU country.
- A holder of a long-term residence permit who has ceased to be a long-term resident.
- A child born in Spain who is the child of a long-term residence permit holder.
How Do You Complete The EX-11 Form?
The good news is that completing the EX-11 form is incredibly straightforward. This step-by-step guide will ensure that you complete the form correctly, although if you need help with this process then you should seek advice from your immigration lawyer:
Step 1: Add all your personal details. This includes your name, date of birth, Spanish address and Spanish NIE.
Step 2: Choose which of the situations, from the list given above, is applicable to you.
If you are an EU citizen, then you will not need to complete the first section of page two. Instead, you will move directly to the section on long-term residence EU. Next, you will choose the option that applies to you from the list below.
- 5 years of continuous residence in Spain, with financial resources and health insurance.
- Resident in Spain with previous authorisation to stay for studies, exchange or non-labour activities.
- Resident in Spain for the 2 immediately preceding years and 3 or more in another EU country, with an EU Blue card.
- A holder of a long-term residence card from another EU country who has renounced it.
- A holder of a long-term residence permit from the EU who has ceased to be so.
- Other (specify).
Step 3: Finally, you will need to attach your supporting documents. The documents that you will need to attach will be determined by your circumstances, but some examples of the documents you may need include:
- Your existing, expiring residency card
- Your passport, plus a photocopy
- 3 passport-sized photos
- Proof of having paid the corresponding fee - tasa modelo 790 Código 012
Submitting Your Application
Unfortunately, you cannot submit the EX-11 form online, so once you have completed the paperwork, and gathered the relevant supporting documentation, you will need to go to your local police station or foreigner's office (extranjería) to complete the application process.
You can’t just turn up at the local police station or foreigners’s office. You will need to book a prior appointment. You can apply for the appointment online by finding your nearest extranjería office.
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